1 Plan Now
Do you recall your interview for admission to medical school? Was one of your goals to convince the physician interviewing you that you were a humanitarian and that money was not important to you?
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 34 – No 01– January 2015
That was then, and now you have new priorities. Thankfully, you no longer have to hide the fact that one of your career goals is financial security.
If your goals are to provide for your family, pay your monthly bills, afford your children’s education, and create a nest egg that provides for a comfortable retirement and future travel, then you need a plan. Having the comfort of being financially secure is a key component of your effectiveness as an emergency physician, and sound financial planning is an integral factor of your mental and physical well-being. Financial worries can be distracting and impair your focus, so the aim of this article is to encourage you to commit to taking the path to financial serenity. You need a road map and a plan to achieve your financial goals, and the time to start planning is now.
Have some exposure to the U.S. stock market and the bond market, and mix in a little international exposure. The exact mix will vary depending on your age and risk tolerance. Adjust your asset allocation yearly.
2 Become Financially Savvy
Having advisors is a wonderful thing, but this is one area that you cannot totally delegate to others. You must learn the lingo and the basics. Thankfully, the number of options to learn the fundamentals of finance and investing has greatly expanded.
Websites of major financial institutions (banks and brokers) are useful sources of timely financial and investing information if you are able to overlook their ads. One of our colleagues, James M. Dahle, MD, FACEP, who writes ACEP Now’s “End of the Rainbow” column, has a blog, www.whitecoatinvestor.com, that is an outstanding resource for physicians seeking to become knowledgeable investors. The archive section has more than 500 posts that make complex topics manageable. His blogs are often entertaining, and he provides a well-thought-out and careful analysis of numerous financial topics. In addition, his columns are archived at www.acepnow.com/tag/the-end-of-the-rainbow.
3 Live Within Your Means
Most emergency physicians earn an excellent salary. If current salary trends continue and you are fortunate enough to have a long and healthy career, your lifetime earnings will amount to an impressive figure. With a little planning, some sage input from ethical advisors, and a modicum of fiscal discipline, your income should be more than enough to support a comfortable lifestyle, prepare for a secure retirement, and weather the inevitable financial setbacks that will occur in everyone’s lives.